Urgency in Adolescence
Urgency in Adolescence
If urgency is what we deal with, and if urgency is indeed a permanent matter for us – that is, if it is always already there – then we must ask, is there anything more urgent about this adolescent’s case than that of others? An adolescent, in his passage through school, is called to pursue a path which traverses the distance from childhood to a so called “maturity.” Therefore he finds himself pressured, urged. This underscores why whatever he brings with him, with his words, is always already urgent.
A. was referred to Tafsan by his school for his lack of attendance. He says he wants to go to school but cannot. He gets stuck in front of the mirror every morning before school and finds that he can’t stand his reflection. It takes him hours to “correct” his look. The time required for this process inevitably delays his arrival to school. Then, when he enters his classroom, he sees everyone staring at him.
At the next session A. reports that he has started working. He managed to find his way out of his room! But, soon after, this “thing that I have” occurred again. He found himself trapped in his house and subsequently lost his job. A. started canceling meetings, stating that “it” is happening once again, that same thing that he suffers from, which manifests as the cause of his urgency.
How does A. find his way out of his room in a manner that allows him to go to school? A. recognized that if he is less excited about up-coming events, he might manage. Yet, he did not recognize this excitement as the cause of his sense of urgency. We chose to ask him: When is it urgent for you, and why at those moments?
All cases of adolescence are urgent and it is not the intensity of suffering that determines the magnitude of urgency. Suffering triggers urgency but does not sustain it. Permanent urgency, as I see it, is a given in adolescence. It’s always there, most present. Tafsan is called upon to intervene for a moment during an urgent period termed “becoming-an-adult.” It does so by responding to the urged adolescent with an answer rather than panic. Analytic discourse allow us to rephrase something with regard to the urgency of adolescence – it should be taken as signified urgency that is a product of the situation itself, and fuels it.